No Content Set
Exception:
Website.Models.ViewModels.Components.General.Banners.BannerComponentVm

Services

Technical services and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, water, resources, defence and government sectors.

Advisory and management consulting

Advisory and management consulting services for businesses and projects, including economics, due diligence, transaction advisory, ESG and more.

Communications, creative and digital

Communications, creative and digital solutions for governments and businesses including community engagement, design, research, data and software development.

Laboratories

Scientific analysis services for AgroScience, food safety, workplace exposure, environmental metrics and contaminants of concern in Europe and the UK.

Planning and approvals

Development strategy, planning and approval solutions for buildings, infrastructure, transport and city projects and investments.

Project and program management

Project management solutions for the most complex building, infrastructure, organisational change, and systems projects.

Training

Specialist training services, programs and accreditation for health, safety and risk, project management, and energy sector capability development.

Sectors

World-leading technical and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, resources, water, defence and government sectors.

Property

Design, technical and advisory services for the property sector, including residential, commercial, retail, industrial, health, education and data centre projects.

Energy

Energy exploration, development and optimisation solutions for renewables, power and gas networks, energy storage, oil and gas and nuclear facilties.

Transport

Smart, safe and sustainable transport infrastructure development services and advice for rail, aviation, port and road clients and projects.

Defence and government services

Expertise for defence capability and infrastructure investments, security and safety projects, and information and telecommunications initatives.

Water

Discover our industry-leading strategy, design and management solutions for wastewater, groundwater, flooding, drainage and network infrastructure.

Resources

Commercial data, design advice and technical management solutions for safe and environmentally responsible resource exploration and operations.

About us

Responsibility

Services

Technical services and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, water, resources, defence and government sectors.

explore Services
Advisory and management consulting

Advisory and management consulting services for businesses and projects, including economics, due diligence, transaction advisory, ESG and more.

Due diligence

Economics

Strategy and transformation

Commercial and technical advisory

Transaction advisory

Project investment and finance

ESG consulting

Explore Advisory and management consulting
Communications, creative and digital

Communications, creative and digital solutions for governments and businesses including community engagement, design, research, data and software development.

Communications and engagement

Creative, visualisation and immersive design

Social advisory and research

Data management, analytics and insights

Spatial intelligence and GIS

Software development

Explore Communications, creative and digital
Design and development

Technical and consulting services for buildings, infrastructure and cities including architecture, engineering, surveying, landscape architecture and urban design.

Architecture

Lifts and escalators

Building services engineering

Civil engineering

Fire engineering

Geotechnical engineering

Landscape architecture

Structural engineering

Surveying

Utility options and design

Urban design

Explore Design and development
Laboratories

Scientific analysis services for AgroScience, food safety, workplace exposure, environmental metrics and contaminants of concern in Europe and the UK.

AgroScience analysis

Food safety analysis

PFAS Analysis

Environmental analysis

Analysis of unknowns

Workplace exposure analysis

Explore Laboratories
Planning and approvals

Development strategy, planning and approval solutions for buildings, infrastructure, transport and city projects and investments.

Planning consultancy

Transport planning

Explore Planning and approvals
Project and program management

Project management solutions for the most complex building, infrastructure, organisational change, and systems projects.

Program management

Project management

Cost management / quantity surveying

Building consultancy

Explore Project and program management
Training

Specialist training services, programs and accreditation for health, safety and risk, project management, and energy sector capability development.

Health, safety and risk

Training: project management

Capability development and training for the energy sector

Explore Training

Sectors

World-leading technical and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, resources, water, defence and government sectors.

explore Sectors
Property

Design, technical and advisory services for the property sector, including residential, commercial, retail, industrial, health, education and data centre projects.

Residential

Commercial and retail

Leisure and tourism

Industrial

Health and healthcare

Education

Data centres

Explore Property
Energy

Energy exploration, development and optimisation solutions for renewables, power and gas networks, energy storage, oil and gas and nuclear facilties.

Oil and gas

Renewables

Nuclear facilities

Power and gas networks

Storage

Explore Energy
Transport

Smart, safe and sustainable transport infrastructure development services and advice for rail, aviation, port and road clients and projects.

Rail

Aviation

Ports

Roads

Explore Transport
Defence and government services

Expertise for defence capability and infrastructure investments, security and safety projects, and information and telecommunications initatives.

Defence

Security and safety

Information and telecommunications

Explore Defence and government services
Water

Discover our industry-leading strategy, design and management solutions for wastewater, groundwater, flooding, drainage and network infrastructure.

Water management

Wastewater

Flooding and drainage

Groundwater

UK and Ireland regulated water asset management

Explore Water
Resources

Commercial data, design advice and technical management solutions for safe and environmentally responsible resource exploration and operations.

Mining

Waste

Explore Resources

Projects

We define, design and manage projects that create shared value to a complex, urbanising and resource-scarce world.

explore Projects

Brilliant minds finding solutions to complex problems, made easy to understand. Making complex easy.

Brilliant minds finding solutions to complex problems, made easy to understand. Making complex easy.

explore Insights

It's time to stop pursuing social licence and start building trust

Is the pursuit of social licence to blame for the less than best practice engagement that most communities endure?

29 June 2022
Nicola Wass

Australia

ON THIS PAGE
Contact us

Despite project team's claims to the contrary, much of the community engagement we deliver is not best practice. Sometimes it’s not even ‘good enough’ practice.

I suggest the fault lies with the pursuit of social licence, and the one-sided, transactional mindset it creates. In fact, I’m certain social licence does not really exist – it cannot be seen or heard, and it certainly cannot be measured.

So why do we keep talking about it as if it does?

Even if you buy into the concept of social licence, it should never be the objective of your engagement with communities affected by your project or proposal.

Why do I say this?

It's a relationship people!

That’s right, a project and project team’s relationship with affected communities is just like any other relationship in your life – it is ongoing and always evolving. There is never the end point that social licence implies.

And we would never treat others in our lives the way we often treat communities.

Would you invite a friend or date out to dinner only to spend the whole time talking about yourself, insisting the conversation only be about the things that you want to talk about, and only being interested in hearing what they think if it is about you?

For communities, their relationship with projects and project teams is often exactly this sort of one-sided affair. And sadly, where major infrastructure projects are concerned, this is a life-long relationship for the community.

So, if we are not pursuing social licence, what should we focus on to deliver positive outcomes?

Purple tinted scrabble game pieces sitting on wood grain surface. Letters spell the word 'trust'.

Building trust

We need to change our mindset. We need to develop and implement engagement approaches that demonstrate to communities that we are worthy of their trust.

This takes both time and effort but is essential for developing and maintaining constructive and mutually beneficial relationships with affected communities.

Six key behaviours to demonstrate your trustworthiness

In my experience, there are six key behaviours that you need to demonstrate your trustworthiness and develop positive relationships with affected communities. You need to:

  • Be honest about your intent in terms of both the project and engaging with the community, and the processes you will be undertaking.

  • Be reliable and consistent in the way you communicate and do what you say you will do.

  • Be open to hearing community perspectives and difficult truths about your project and what it means for community members.

  • Be considerate of community feelings and their experiences, including broader issues and events that may be affecting them.

  • Be accommodating of other ways of approaching elements of the project that better address community needs and expectations.

  • Be realistic about the time, effort, and resources it takes to engage respectfully, and ensure these are accounted for in project budgets, timeframes and team structures.

Wooden people cut outs coloured different shades of purple and grey, on a dark background

Doing better

Demonstrating trustworthiness and building trust with communities takes time and effort but the benefits are worth it.

Having a positive and constructive relationship with the community, and creating a ‘trust bank’, is essential for responding to and managing the problems that inevitably arise around projects.  

Making the cognitive shift from the transactional and static concept of social licence to an active, behavioural approach that focusses on building trust will be the first step in developing and maintaining positive relationships with affected communities that deliver lasting, mutual benefits.

So next time you’re part of a conversation about pursuing a social licence, ask – what do we need to do to demonstrate to affected communities we’re trustworthy and want a positive and constructive relationship into the future?

More insights from our Victorian team

We're for you, Victoria